I'm sitting with Star the cat on my lap, listening to Elissa on Nogoum fm radio, looking out at a grey sky, a church spire and the sound of church bells fill the air....
It's about time I tell you all my big news!
On 22nd March I celebrated 10 years living in Cairo.....
And on 25th March I packed up the last of my costumes and moved back to live again in Scotland! Yes, although I will always be 'Lorna of Cairo' I am no longer 'Lorna in Cairo'!
I have decided that I have at long last ticked the box that I went to Egypt to achieve. I have continually held down 3 major work contracts at Nile Pharaohs, Fairmont Nile City Hotel and Nile Maxim and worked with my own bands in each of them. I have danced at many weddings, parties, bars and clubs. I have learned enough Arabic to get by in most situations and Egyptian culture and habits now are so well mingled with my own that I still talk about 'us' and 'we' when discussing Egyptians, and I suspect I always will. I've 'lived the dream' as my auntie told me yesterday, which made me feel my life was over, but I reassured her that I was only transitioning into a different dream phase!
Of course I will be back so often to Cairo that some there may not even believe I am no longer based there! I want to keep myself up to date with everything there, the music the dance, the politics, the lifestyle. I believe I need that energy to inspire my dance, and I would miss it, and all the friends I have there, way to much otherwise. Who knows, I may even restart my group holidays to Cairo again if there is enough interest!
I am also looking forward to teaching there again in the next Nile Group festival, in July, which will be my next visit back. I still can't quite believe I have left. It's only been a week and I do feel that I should be getting on a plane and heading 'home' to Zamalek soon (I think the cold and rain in Edinburgh may be accelerating that desire!). I'm writing this blog post partially to keep my friends and supporters abreast of this major life change, but also to try and force the idea to sink into my own head that I have actually left!
As you know, I have been doing more and more workshops internationally recently and I have in particular enjoyed my many recent trips to China. My primary reason for returning to Scotland is on a personal level to be near family and friends here and on a professional level, to focus more on my international work. I love that through dance I have met so many lovely people all over the world and I feel it is now time to see a bit more of this wonderful world of ours!
So there you go! Apologies to those of you who had been planning a trip to come and see my show there, but who knows.... You may see me soon, I will just have to come to you instead wherever you are!
On that note- if you are interested in hosting workshops with me do please contact me either via email email@example.com or on Facebook! (I may also do a show or two when I visit Cairo too!)
I will share my upcoming world workshop schedule with you all as soon as I've got my feet under the table!
Apologies also to the very many people I didn't get a chance to say goodbye to in Cairo. I just couldn't. It was too emotional to leave even without all the farewells! I hope you understand and forgive me. We will party in July when I am back. It is not goodbye but rather, 'hashufku oriab!' (See you all soon)
Thank you Egypt for all you have taught me, about the dance, but also about life and about myself. It's been a roller coaster of a ride, but any lows have always been more than made up with by the supreme highs! I will always look on my decade in your arms as the years that really formed who I am. I hope that in my future workshops and performances I can now take some of those lessons I've learned and share them around the world.
Oh and Egypt.... In return for spreading the love of your dance, music and culture around the world, if you could send some sunshine to me in Scotland that would be just perfect!